Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Russell's Sixth Birthday Party

I knew I didn't want to set up/clean up for Russell's party this year, so we gave him some options for a party away from our house. He chose a party at the Ball Factory, an indoor play place. I bought a Groupon (love those things!) for a party, which included pizza, juice boxes, pink lemonade, soda, popcorn, veggie straws, decorations, and play time. It was awesome for me - the only thing I did was bring a cake! - and everyone had a great time.

Our neighbor Sophie (11yo) is so sweet with the kids and they love her!

Russell's favorite thing at the Ball Factory is the awesome tractors they have.

Ayden (with Naya and Meredith in the background):

Snack break! Sophie's brother Nick (14yo) is a lot of fun with the kids too!

Addison (Ayden's sister) and her dad:

Paige is completely fearless - she wants to do anything the big kids do.

Russell and Jackson. (They will be together in the CBS homeschool class once a week in the fall.)

Russell, Meredith, Lily, and Emme stop for a snack break.


Russell went to Sam's Club with me to pick out this Planes cake. Six candles! 

We tried to get a group photo at the end, but this is missing about half of the kids. Oh well!

Happy sixth birthday, Russell! I'm so glad you loved your party!

Russell is six!

Favorite food: mac and cheese
Favorite movie: Planes, Fire and Rescue ("and second favorite Charlotte's Web")
Favorite toy: Magna-tiles and Legos
Favorite book: Lego DC Comics: Amazing Superheros
Favorite Place to Go/Play: the Ball Factory

Russell is becoming more independent. He is funny, sometimes creating his own jokes, and he is almost always smiling or laughing. In the last couple of months, he has really started owning his role as the oldest, making sure Paige is safe and telling the girls what they should play ;) He is still very cautious when around a lot of new people or doing a new activity (like our VBS this year), but he is participating a little more in those circumstances. He truly loves God and is bold in his faith. I pray he always is!

Summer Kid Pictures

I was taking the kids' photos on or around their birthdays each year, but now with the prospect of doing that for four, I decided everyone can get their pictures taken in the summer! That's when 3 of their birthdays are/will be anyway.

We did this on a random weeknight, after a messy lasagna dinner, when it was sprinkling. But I was determined. Jason was hesitant, but I'm glad we did it :)

Isn't this perfect? (I'm not bragging on my photography skills! Just excited that they were all sweetly smiling! :))

Since Meredith's birthday has already passed, here's her 4-year-old picture :) The other two will be posted on their birthday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Russell's Last Day of Kinder!

Oh, this boy. We have had our challenges this year, but I can absolutely see how much he's matured, grown, and changed. Our last day of kindergarten was May 29. Russell is a great reader (on a first-grade level) and loves science. Anything he can do with manipulatives or a hands-on approach, he's totally into. If it involves worksheets or writing, it's like pulling teeth!

I'm proud of his work this school year, and excited to start first grade with him on July 1!

Suzuki Strings

Russell and Meredith are taking a Suzuki strings class for 6 weeks. Jason and I think it's really important for the kids to learn to play instruments, and they're very excited about it. Meredith decided she wants to learn violin (something she's talked about for a while), and Russell wants to learn to play the cello - he likes the deeper sound.

The kids are practicing on their box instruments at home: helps them develop the right finger positioning, bow positioning, posture, etc.

Since this is a sampler class, they each get to try the violin, the viola, and the cello, even though they are encouraged to focus on just one. Here they both are with cellos!

I have really enjoyed learning about the Suzuki method, although I think the classes will be cost-prohibitive in the long run. We're thinking of other options, because we're all enjoying the music and the lessons - and they even enjoy practicing, the bane of every musician! ;)

Workin' at the Car Wash

Summer fun!

The summer weather finally came, and it looks like it's here to stay! Loving the sunshine!